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Tag Archive: Racism

A Letter to My Teen Daughters, Concerning Racism

Posted: Wednesday, February 3, 2016 (11:59 pm), by John W Gillis


It can be difficult for me to get a handle on what I want to say about something, especially on-the-spot. But I wanted to follow up on tonight’s brief post-dinner discussion of something I consider profoundly important in the world today, which is the role the idea of racism plays in the on-going cultural drama of the propagation of modern society’s religious dogmas. I hope you will all find the time to do me the courtesy of reading this through. I have tried to be brief, but that’s a challenge, too…

Some information gleaned from reputable-looking sites on the WWW regarding the KKK: 1

“At its peak in the 1920s, Klan membership exceeded 4 million people nationwide.”

{and then, over the course of a single lifetime—70 years…}

“In the early 1990s, the Klan was estimated to have between 6,000 and 10,000 active members, mostly in the Deep South.”

{and, finally, after having seen its membership drop 99.75% by the last decade of the century…}

“[The KKK] is estimated to have between 5,000 and 8,000 members as of 2012.”

These last numbers are from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is basically a left-wing agitprop organization which would be happy to find as many KKK members as they could, in order to prop up the relentless political narrative that “White” culture is awash in “racism”.

On the other hand, while the KKK was busy losing 20% of what little was left of its vanishing membership…: 2

“The American Religious Identification Survey gives Wicca an average annual growth of 143% for the period 1990 to 2001 (from 8,000 to 134,000)”

{so, 25 years ago, there were about as many KKK members as there were Wiccans (~8,000), and then…}

“According to Wikipedia, Wicca “is a modern pagan, witchcraft religion”.  It has been estimated that the number of Americans that are Wiccans is doubling every 30 months, and at this point there are more than 200,000 registered witches and approximately 8 million unregistered practitioners of Wicca.  And it is important to remember that Wicca is just one form of witchcraft.  There are many other “darker” forms of witchcraft that are also experiencing tremendous growth.”

So, the KKK, at 0.0025% or less of the population and declining steadily, continues to be held up as a despised symbol of a rampant moral and spiritual problem that no one can ever really find anymore, except in the hurt feelings of recompense-seeking victims, the self-righteous scoldings of crisis-seeking newsbarkers, celebrity-seeking entertainers, and status-seeking educators, or the mob manipulations of power-seeking politicians.

And yet, there are 1,000 times more Wiccans than Klansmen, at 2.5% of the population and growing rapidly, and nobody seems overly concerned about a crisis of paganism in America – or even one of witchcraft. Indeed, the very entertainers and newsbarkers who inveigh with holy wrath against the scourge of every under-pigmented Oscar nomination slate are quite at home embracing and propagating the cultural “sophistication” of paganism, and in celebrating its bloody sacrifices.

A final, important note on “racism”:

Racism is a word invented in the 1930s to describe Adolf Hitler’s anthropological views, and their political expression. These views were called neo-pagan, because he combined romantic elements of German/Norse paganism with modern, “scientific” ideas, including evolutionism. Evolutionism was a requisite component of his view that Jews in particular (but also others to lesser degrees), were of an inferior race. Hitler did not invent this idea of sub-human species belonging to a different “race”, but he brought it into the heart of Europe from the former colonial lands, and directed it primarily toward the Jews. And he sold it to a willing populace using an egotistically romantic notion of a master race.

You need to posit multiple races in order to have “racism”. On every level, this idea is deeply absurd, and offensive to the truth. The denial of genuine common humanity (never mind superiority/inferiority views, which are actually a distraction from the real evil being sold) is completely at odds with the fundamental Christian doctrine of Original Sin, and hence would render Christianity absurd – the salvational claim of Christianity being that God, in Christ, became one of us (i.e. a member of the one human race) in order that we could become like Him (i.e. divine: “By the mystery of this water and wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled Himself to share in our humanity” – prayer at the preparation of the gifts).

The common current public spectacle of calling political and cultural opponents of Liberalism “racists” is absurd, obscene, and despicable – as is the quarrying of “racism” under every phony fig leaf.

But that’s not because the pagan idea of a sub-human species undeserving of the respect due human dignity has disappeared with the Nazis and the last gasps of American race slaving. Far from it. It has simply migrated from the plantations and encomiendas of America, and from the death camps of central Europe, into the abortion mills of what remains of Western civilization.

So it’s not that I actually think “racism” doesn’t exist, it’s just that I think most people are dead wrong about where it lives on today. And it’s a lot easier to thump your chest about the imagined sins of “those” real or imagined people, than to confront your own. Don’t be deceived by these fools.

 

1. The first two quotes regarding the KKK are taken from www.history.com, the third from the Wikipedia entry for the KKK.

2. The two quotes regarding Wicca are taken from thetruthwins.com

…it was the halting and reversing of a socio-cultural revolution

Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 (10:18 pm), by John W Gillis


The lights have been out at this blog for about a year and a half, but I’ve been targeting to get back to it, and even made a few tweaks and updates over the past week in preparation. And I could hardly find a finer way of turning the lights back on than by sharing this illuminating article at TheWeek.com by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, who punctures the absurd conceits of the Progressive movement concerning the “inevitability” of social change, by revisiting the origins of the concept of racialism (race & racism) in early modern and – especially – Enlightenment era “scientific” liberalism:

Like other socio-cultural revolutions, it started out as a fringe idea and became mainstream seemingly overnight. The idea of studying and classifying “races” as such appears as mostly a sidebar in scientific inquiry in the mid-part of the 18th century, but by the end of the 18th century it’s all over the place and by the 19th century the idea of races is pretty much received wisdom. In the American Colonies, the first person to be legally recognized as a slave was owned by a free black man. While some colonies had laws banning marriage between free persons and slaves, none of them originally had anti-miscegenation laws. These laws were passed in a sudden wave, in a matter of a generation.

Like other socio-cultural revolutions, it draped itself under scientific accoutrements. To many people, theories of evolution seemed to naturally indicate that there were different races and that these races had intrinsic traits. “Scientific racism” was all the rage. While we hear about people like James Henley Thornwell, the Southern white Calvinistic preacher who backed slavery, we hear much less about figures like Louis Agassiz, the Swiss-born deist scientist who built a profitable public speaking career in the South promoting scientific racism.

Like other socio-cultural revolutions, it advanced under the banner of moral progress. Racism is inseparable from colonialism and the “white man’s burden” to colonize the lesser races to teach them civilization (at the barrel of a gun if need be — for their own good, of course). Another form of so-called moral progress, enthusiastically embraced by progressive elites and coevally linked with racism, is eugenicism. Margaret Sanger, the doyenne of the family planning movement and great advocate of eugenicism was, like the Ku Klux Klan, a sworn enemy of both inferior races and the Catholic Church (and in fact, spoke at a KKK event and was well received).

Part of Gobry’s point is that the progressive conceit that there is no turning back from social change once it is committed to is refuted, unawares, by progressives themselves every time they toll their signal bell claiming once-for-all social victory over the dark and “ancient” scourge of racism through the Civil Rights movement: the civil rights movement was nothing but the turning back of earlier but still relatively recent moral and cultural “progress” rooted in liberal (i.e. anti-Catholic) ideology.

To me, this is so obvious as to be pretty much self-evident, and I’ve always been baffled by the success of progressivism’s propaganda accusing its opponents (“conservatives”) of being champions of racism. Christian doctrine is as necessarily opposed to racism as it is to same-sex marriage: not simply because it’s a bad idea or evil result, but because it is an absurdity relying on a bogus premise concerning the nature of the human being, one which ultimately denigrates the race through mockery of just what it means to be a human being, created in the image of a God who is Father of all. But a lie can travel half-way around the world…

Dante Meets the Moralists

Posted: Friday, March 16, 2012 (1:20 am), by John W Gillis


Somehow summoning the wherewithal to ping my poor, neglected blog, and recalling in particular (if vaguely) my next-to-last entry, I implore anyone out there regretting not taking the time to study Dante to get on the stick before the moralists of the Order of Perpetual Outrage crush your obviously sadistic fantasies in the name of tolerance. Why?

The Guardian is reporting that the UN-related Italian “human rights” advisory group Gerush92 is calling for Italy’s school system to eliminate Dante’s Divine Comedy from its curricula, claiming that it is “offensive and discriminatory”. Among other unpardonable sins, the epic poem suggests that Islam is heretical. Oh my.

FWIW, this group’s web site ironically defines racism as the “negation of biological and cultural diversity”. Say what? Assuming that phrase is intended to be intelligible, I must ask: what does it mean? I might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but it seems to me the only way to “negate biological diversity”, at least as it relates to “race” (a phony construct to begin with), would be through massive miscegenation. Do they really think that would be racist? And how exactly do you go about negating cultural diversity except by suppressing cultural expressions that differ from the spirit of the age? Oh my.

HT: FirstThoughts

The Law of Rule

Posted: Monday, March 29, 2010 (11:07 pm), by John W Gillis


As the leftists in Washington basked in the faux glory of their successful healthcare reform con job last week, it was hard not to be struck by their lack of gravity. You would have thought they had just won an arm wrestling competition, or perhaps a neighborhood gang fight. Despite all the high-fiving, and the preposterous assertions that the vote portended the doom of the Republican Party, it is awfully hard not to see this as a hollow victory for Obama: a political manipulation of the worst kind, for all the world to see; watching him strong-arming his own party over against the evident will of the majority of the governed. What a spectacle.

Listening to the bi-linguae explanans emanating from the victorious discussants, either before or after the vote, it would be hard to judge whether the measure was an historic watershed in the progression of human culture on these shores between two seas, or a simple means of securing just liberties for the disadvantaged that was being blown all out of proportion by the wild-eyed obstructionists in the Republican caucus, and their unkempt tea-bagger enablers. But they’re racists, all, by golly. Yes, we’re all racists now…

I went out to gas up my car on Friday night, as the arms were being twisted, and the “reconciliation” option was still on the table, and I subjected myself to government funded radio on the way – even though it was obvious by then that the fix was in. I heard Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift discussing reconciliation, saying that even though critics claimed it was politically devious and maybe even unconstitutional, it was actually a common device used by both parties to pass laws, and could even be considered “almost routine.” I nearly drove off the road, my head was spinning so violently. This gaggle of savants went on to talk about how reports out of Washington were accusing TEA Party protesters of yelling things at black congressmen, which surely demonstrated the elements of racism to be found in opposition to President Obama’s social agenda.

One of the few sane voices I heard on the left last week came from, of all places, the Washington Post, in an opinion column by Ruth Marcus in which she suggests that a little humility might be in order, given that nobody actually has any idea what just got passed, or what it will actually mean for the future of the country. “Gee, I hope this works” is how she characterizes her hangover perspective. My biggest beef all along with this boondoggle is that it was never thought through. Marcus seems to grasp that, now that the horse is out of the barn.

Slander as Political Fashion

Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2009 (11:57 pm), by John W Gillis


Boy, am I growing weary of the political environment. What George W Bush did for for international relations with his “with us or against us” rhetoric, Barack Obama is doing to the political climate within the country with his treatment of political dissent. Of course, nations actually do operate in an environment of mutual belligerence, which is forever flaring up as actual warfare in some corner or another, whereas nations are supposed to operate, internally, with a civility stemming from civitas, but why split hairs?

Perhaps it’s unfair to blame Obama for the whole mess, but then again, it’s not. He’s the unquestioned leader of the ruling left wing in this country, with the power and ability to set the tone, and he sits back and watches the fissure. Whether that’s because of incompetence, or because he senses political advantage in it, I’ll let the reader judge – we’ll assume he doesn’t enjoy it for its own sake. He may pose as someone seeking unity (show me a politician that doesn’t!), but in the real world, he uses and approves actions and tactics that reveal a very different kind of leader.

So, we have Rep. Joe Wilson being censured by the House for blurting out “You lie!” during an Obama campaign speech before the joint Houses. Can we call it that? Maybe an infomercial? No, he didn’t pay for it. I think “policy address” is the official term – I’m not sure – but whatever it’s called, it was nothing but a powerful man using the bully pulpit available to him to advance his agenda. Nothing wrong with that, but why is it being treated as if it were some kind of sacred religious service?

It’s kind of creepy, really, the way the setting is being portrayed in the public propaganda narrative. I will admit that, for a few seconds, I felt like I was watching British Parliament instead of the U.S. Congress, but the “sacred” halls of American power were built for the rough and tumble of modern liberal politics, not for the circumspect adulation of Divinely appointed royalty that the whole liberal enterprise set out to overthrow. And, like many, I don’t remember a previous occupant of the Pennsylvania Avenue throne whom the public propaganda narrative depicted as deserving of such circumspect adulation. Creepy, I tell you…

But I think what bothers me the most about the whole affair is that Wilson is being accused of introducing incivility into the proceedings. What a load of crap. Undoubtedly, Wilson was absolutely fuming over just having been called a liar in front of both Houses of Congress, on national TV, by the President. Obama set the tone from his pulpit, and Wilson fired back in defiance from the cheap seats. It had been only perhaps 15 seconds before Wilson’s outburst that Obama had accused opponents of his, who included “prominent politicians” (and while speaking to the joint Congress, it’s pretty tough to misconstrue that reference), of lying about the implications of his proposed end-of-life panels of experts: “It is a lie, plain and simple” he stated baldly. Even I was dumbfounded at the time that he would say such a thing, and I’m not even a radio or cable talk show host, nor a prominent politician.

So we see yet again that we reap what we sow. But who is even talking about Obama’s incivility, his tactics of divisiveness and marginalization, or his responsibility for setting the tone of discourse at the level of personal insult? Incredibly, Teflon Barak just accepts Wilson’s apology, and sits back while Wilson gets savaged by Obama’s supporters, even to the point of being slandered as a racist for his outburst. Incredible.

At least there’s people like Scott Harrington over at the Wall Street Journal uncovering the dishonesty of Obama’s characterization of the examples he uses in his demonization of the insurance carriers. All that really seems to matter here to the President is that people’s contempt for, and distrust of, the insurance companies is fed and enforced. President “Hope, Not Fear” is willing to fudge the facts in order to scare people into thinking they need to buy his socialist snake oil to protect them from the ogres of the business world. Disgusting. Disgraceful. And depressing.

Meanwhile, the left wing picks up this theme of the “racist” calumny, which has been, at a minimum, simmering in the pot since the election cycle, and which has ever since been pulled out, time and again, to smear Obama’s opponents, and they bring it to an absolute boil. It’s not just effete TV celebrities and fatuous journalists slinging the slander now, but high-level political leadership among the left wing, including former president Carter, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Hank Johnson, and undoubtedly many more I could find if I wanted to waste my time Googling for the info.

Suddenly, the air is ablaze with insinuations that opposition to Obama’s policies involves “elements of racism.” The verbal trick here is to morph the idea that racists are opposed to Obama into the idea that people who are opposed to Obama are racists. The trick is made all the more clever by feigning subtlety by referring to “elements.” If racists are opposed to Obama, them some of the opposition to Obama is racially motivated, therefore opposition to Obama is at least partially racially motivated. Hence, the implication is clear: If you are opposed to Obama, you are part of the partially racist opposition, and therefore you are (at least) partially racist. Not that opposition to his agenda has anything to do with his person anyway, but there I go splitting hairs again, and getting off-narrative.

This is shameful, of course – and sinful – to be slandering people with the “racist” label as a means of trying to advance a political agenda. This is so regardless of how corrupt the political agenda is: even a noble cause is irreparably defiled by ignoble tactics. But aren’t such tactics the very warp and woof of progressive political argumentation? It angers me – as it is angering an increasing number of people – to be called a racist for being a political dissenter (as I snicker at the thought of what these same snide and cynical folks would have had to say about my support for Alan Keyes’ presidential bid in 2000), but in a sense, it’s just the typical fare that is served up for dissenters from the orthodoxy of progressivism. There’s just an assumption at work that if you reject the progressive orthodoxy, you have bad motives.

It’s not because you think the programs are bad, it’s not because you think you have a better idea, it’s not even because you’re mistaken, it’s because of your bad motives. Hence, if you oppose so-called liberal (socialist, really) policies concerning the welfare of the poor, it’s obviously because you hate the poor. It’s not possible that you think those policies will actually be bad for the poor, you just hate the poor. Case closed. “Hate” is a very important word in the lexicon of the left – it explains just about all dissent. How clever.

But this “racism” game is going to run aground before long. There are too many people seeing through the facile “solutions” of the left – and especially of the salesman-in-chief. That means there are increasing numbers of people who are going to be uneasy – if not outright offended – by the mean-spiritedness of the chimerical “racism” slander, and they’re going to push back.

Suddenly, Nancy Pelosi is fretting about the right wing stirring up a frenzy of violent opposition (shades of “right wing terror threats” in the form of returning Iraq veterans!), but she couldn’t be more wrong. People get violent when they’re angry, and the Rush Limbaughs of the world don’t get people angry (except liberals, that is). What gets people angry – angry enough to fight – is being insulted, having their character and integrity questioned.

Whatever anger is out there on the right is not there because of political activism or talk-radio manipulation, it’s there because these are good people, who are good neighbors, who love their country, and who are fed up with being told they are “haters” of one stripe or another simply because they retain some semblance of conservative moral and/or fiscal values. Nancy Pelosi is too much the stooge of her ideology to see that, but I think Barack Obama is politically astute enough to recognize it. When the violence comes, it won’t come from the right, from those folks “clinging to their guns and religion” who place so much importance on law and right public order, and I think Obama knows that too. What I don’t know is whether or not he thinks he can survive politically without ratcheting down the “hate” speech. I suspect that will depend on what happens over the next few months with his health insurance takeover plan. We shall see.

Human Rights and the Right to be Human

Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2008 (1:28 am), by John W Gillis


BlogCatalog.com is organizing a campaign today, May 15th, to encourage bloggers around the world to help raise awareness of human rights issues by blogging about them. I think it’s a terrific idea, and was more than happy to sign up to join the campaign.

Human rights is a concept that speaks to the need for each of us to acknowledge the common humanity we share with the rest of the race, and to recognize the duties that we all inherently and inalienably have toward each other in the light of the particular dignity we each possess as human beings. Simply put, we are all brothers and sisters with a responsibility to have each other’s backs.

This is a fine sounding concept, but historically, societies have had an awful lot of difficulty living up to such a vision, even those societies that would embrace it conceptually. Someone always ends up getting the short end of the stick- or worse. We witness the injustice that society’s true prophets have always railed against – and it can take diverse forms, from economic exploitation, to limiting access to society’s goods, to slavery, to some even truly grotesque perversions.

In thinking about what kind of post I would write for this campaign, I thought it would be appropriate to look, not in some far-flung gulag halfway around the world, but in my own backyard; at my own society. I decided that I should write about the most grotesque form of injustice and offense against human rights being practiced right in my own hometown.

As I see it, there are basically two ways of subjectively understanding one’s own participation in the commission of human rights violations. The first would be to know it to be criminal. In this scenario, the culprit is entirely cognizant of the unjust nature of the violation he is inflicting upon his victim(s). He knows that what he is doing is wrong, but he does it anyway, because he has a disordered desire of some sort or another that trumps the weak voice of conscience. This may be, and in all likelihood is, a recurring pattern, but the point is that the violator has a bad conscience: true criminality involves a bad conscience, a guilty conscience, the knowledge of wrongdoing (even if the criminal is indifferent about it).

The other understanding is one that I struggle to come up with a good name for. Our criminal justice system calls it insanity – which may be accurate, but if it is, then I fear the world might be full of mostly insane people. It is the stance that calls injustice by the name of righteousness. It’s the approach that permits people to do terrible things to other human beings with a perfectly clear conscience, or at least with a repressed conscience. It involves a denial of the unjust nature of the offense, which is almost always – and perhaps absolutely always – facilitated by dehumanizing the victims. The violator sees the victim as some lesser kind of creature, as something sub-human. This conscience-evading self-delusion is essentially voluntary insanity.

Voluntary insanity can only thrive in a culture of complicity, because most people cannot hang onto insanity for long in the face of reality. Without a network of co-denial supporting a mutual self-delusion, most people are forced into either a (self-acknowledged) criminal choice for evil, or acceptance of the moral good – however reluctantly accepted. The conscience eventually confronts the will, and either it fails or succeeds to compel a moral response. Either way, there is basically full acknowledgement of responsibility on the part of the individual as a moral agent. People just aren’t usually that stupid, except as part of a mob.

Without meaning to downplay the brutality of criminality, it seems to me that the great violations of human rights are generally of the second order – they are carried out in a culture (or sub-culture) of insanity – if that’s the right word, and I’m not sure it is. There is a dehumanizing of the subjected class, who are then seen as means to the ends of the perpetrators. We end up with second-class citizens, with slave classes, with social groups selected for extermination, with classes of human beings whose very humanity is denied. And at the very, very bottom of human degradation, you end up with abortion. If "Human Rights" means anything at all, it has to begin with the right to be human.

There are many reasons abortion is the greatest social evil and violation of human rights in our day, and even a nominally educated hack like me could go on and on in explicating them, but I just want to make what I think is the very obvious point that abortion is such a great human rights crisis in our age precisely because it is so often not recognized as a human rights violation at all.

Now, that fact usually strikes pro-lifers as entirely bizarre. But that is because pro-lifers recognize that children – human beings – are intentionally killed when abortions are performed. If a pro-lifer were to be materially complicit in an abortion, it would be a criminal act (not, of course, according to current criminal law in the US, which happens to be insane, but according to the subjective distinctions I made above between criminality vs. insanity).

But like any great violation of human rights, the abortion machine is driven primarily by insanity, not by a rational criminality. It is utterly dependent for its perpetuation upon widespread complicity in the self-delusional denial of the simple truth that mothers really do go into abortion clinics to have their children killed (and of course that, in most cases, fathers are either materially complicit, or couldn’t care less – and in other cases are coercively responsible for the killing).

They may come to their senses later – many do, in great grief – but the vast majority of people involved in abortions – either directly or through political support – are engaged in the age-old practice of dehumanizing their victims in order to avoid confronting the reality of the evil they are committing. They are insane, if that’s the right word. Despite the rather obvious reality that each one of them was at one time a fetus, they deny with all their might that a fetus is in the same way one of them, one of us; that a human fetus is a human being.

I’m sure there’s a better word for this than insanity, and I wish I could put my finger on it. Hannah Arendt famously called it banality, but she, whatever her intentions, ended up exploring evil more at its roots – exposing how ordinary people can make horrific moral choices without batting an eyelash – whereas I’m simply trying to show how such a mechanism works in our current historical and social context. Nonetheless, Eichmann in Jerusalem just might be the best background reading available for understanding the moral underpinnings of the modern abortion debacle. I should probably mention that Arendt would likely protest my use of the word insanity in this context. I understand that; it is voluntary,I maintain, though that may not convince her of the word’s usefulness here.

I think this insanity factor is not often grasped by pro-lifers. Hence, they tend to project criminal intent (in my usage of the term) where it doesn’t really exist. They find it unfathomable that people involved in abortion don’t know perfectly well what they are doing. That is understandable, and at a certain level they are right (I do not propose that what I call voluntary insanity mitigates moral culpability), but I think they fail to perceive the power of human self-deception. I recall an adage that goes something like: Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence. Here’s a case in point I came across very recently.

Out at UCLA, there is a quarterly called The Advocate published by a small group of student pro-life activists that has put considerable effort into exposing the ugly face of the abortion industry. In particular, they have collected some very damaging information on Planned Parenthood locations in various parts of the country.

They are alleging racism on the part of Planned Parenthood, based on undercover operations that repeatedly demonstrated that the organization was more than willing to take donations from individuals who were expressly requesting their contributions be used to kill black babies, because, they complained, there are too many black babies in the world. There are transcripts and actual audio tapes of phone calls available as links from the site – but they are very creepy; not for the faint of heart.

As much as I admire the spunk of these young defenders of the defenseless, I think they are overstating the case against Planned Parenthood – damning audio tapes notwithstanding. What these kids are not grasping is the insanity factor. Those folks at PP are not accepting donations because they are specifically targeted to kill black children (that would be criminal), they just couldn’t care less, because they don’t acknowledge what is going on in their clinics (that is insanity). These workers might be made temporarily uncomfortable by the wacky telephone caller, but they really just want to collect more money to do what they consider their good work, and it doesn’t dawn on them to honestly consider the morality of how they are going about accomplishing the "social improvements" that give their professional lives meaning. Freedom is a powerful elixir, even when it’s sham facade for violence – just ask the French, who remain the standard bearers of the need to discriminate between liberty and lunacy. The bottom line is that these workers have too much at stake in keeping the moral blinders on, and focusing on the dreadful "benefits." Voluntary insanity.

This, then, is the true face of human rights violators. For every sadistic monster who fills our imaginations with righteous indignation, there is a platoon of Hannah Arendt’s Eichmanns: unremarkable folk living respectable work-a-day lives while wallowing in moral infantilism, oblivious of the evil they perpetrate in the name of social convention- a study in banality and cluelessness. Evil is most insidious when it dons the mantle of righteousness.